It is that time of year. The time when so many of us are creating new goals for change and calling them “New Year’s resolutions.” Unfortunately for many of us, those resolutions will be all but forgotten in less than a month. The good news is that there are many ways to approach a resolution that will foster success. The even better news is that you specifically CAN follow through with whatever it is that you have resolved to do.
BE SPECIFIC – When creating your resolution, be intentional about describing exactly what is it you want to change. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight” try “I will exercise 3 times a week, and create healthy meal plans every Sunday.” Instead of “I want to be more positive” try “I will keep a weekly gratitude journal.” The more specific you are when creating your goal, the more concrete and attainable it becomes.
BE REALISTIC – Set yourself up for success by creating small realistic goals that add up to the bigger picture. By creating realistic goals for yourself you will get several success-oriented mood boosts throughout your journey. Being realistic also means acknowledging that you are going to struggle along the way. Don’t let small setbacks stop your progress completely. A setback can teach you about how to succeed in the future. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. The only real failure is not trying at all.
VISUALIZE, VISUALIZE, VISUALIZE – Images and metaphors are the language of our subconscious mind. This subconscious is so powerful in creating meaningful and lasting change. The subconscious mind is where patterns often live and breathe. What this means is that if you can imagine vivid pictures of your goal, you are that much closer to breathing life into the pattern you are wanting to create.
When imagining the change you want to see in your life, it can be incredibly helpful to channel this onto paper. My favorite ways to do this are by creating a vision board and engaging in artwork. Remember, it’s about the PROCESS not the product.
GET AN ACCOUNTABLITY PARTNER – Tell someone who has a positive influence in your life about your goal and offer to exchange motivational support. Set up specific times during the day, week, or month in which you can check in with each other to talk about your progress and struggles on your journey. Make sure to tell your partner about the specifics of your goal (for example, I will exercise 2 times this week before work). This sets you up to be held accountable for moving forward with your plans.
WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE – I cannot tell you how many times a small word such as “can’t” has stood directly in the way between a person and their goals. Pay attention to the things you tell yourself. Every time you start to say “I can’t…” try changing that to “I choose not to…” Take responsibility for your choices and you will be amazed at the sense of empowerment you may start to experience.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE – Whatever your goals, there is likely someone who has helpful information for you. Nutritionists, doctors, teachers, money managers, counselors – all out there just waiting to serve you. There are also so many online resources and support systems that are accessible for free. Take advantage of the resources around you.
Take the first step today toward your resolution and post it in the comments section below.
(image found here)